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Akwa Ibom Assembly Committee Pledges Swift Passage of 2024 Budget, Emphasizes Focus on Agriculture

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Dr. Itorobong Etim, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance in the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, has assured that the 2024 Appropriation bill will be passed before December 31.

Etim conveyed this commitment during a press briefing addressing the 2024 appropriation bill presented to the Assembly by Gov. Umo Eno.

Encouraging collaboration, Etim urged Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to engage actively with the Committee during the budget defense process, emphasizing the need for a swift passage of the 2024 budget.

Representing the Uruan state constituency, Etim acknowledged the government’s continuity, emphasizing that the governor would build upon programs initiated by the previous administration. She assured the public of the Committee’s willingness to engage with MDAs to expedite the bill’s passage.

“I want to assure members of the public that the Committee will be willing to interface with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure the passage of the bill within record time,” Etim affirmed.

Noting the imperative of efficiency, Etim called on heads of MDAs to collaborate closely with the committee, warning against any unnecessary delays during the budget defense process.

The chairman highlighted the governor’s emphasis on the 2024 budget’s focus on enhancing the agriculture sector to achieve food sufficiency for the residents of Akwa Ibom. The commitment to expeditious budget passage and a focus on agricultural development reflects the Assembly’s dedication to advancing the state’s economic and agricultural goals.

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BoI Expands Presence in Akwa Ibom State to Foster Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship

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The Bank of Industry Limited (BoI) has taken significant steps to enhance its reach across Nigeria, with a particular focus on promoting economic growth, financial inclusion, and entrepreneurship development.

This commitment was underscored during the opening of its 32nd state office in Akwa Ibom State.

Olasupo Olusi, the Managing Director of BoI, expressed optimism about the bank’s expanded presence in Akwa Ibom, emphasizing the opportunity to amplify its impact on the state’s business landscape. He highlighted BoI’s ongoing support for businesses in Akwa Ibom, citing loans totaling over N1.92 billion provided to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) projects in the state.

Olusi also lauded the alignment of BoI’s objectives with Governor Umo Eno’s economic blueprint, aimed at driving sustainable growth, job creation, and developmental impact in Akwa Ibom. He revealed plans for further collaboration with the state government to establish a dedicated matching fund partnership, aimed at supporting indigenous enterprises and empowering youth entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, Olusi urged the state government to address challenges related to collateral issuance and registration, emphasizing the importance of improving the ease of doing business for enterprises within the state.

Inaugurating the BoI branch office, Governor Umo Eno reiterated his administration’s commitment to supporting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as a catalyst for economic development. He commended BoI’s role in transforming Nigeria’s industrial sector and providing essential financial support to SMEs and large enterprises.

Governor Eno emphasized the significance of SMEs as drivers of economic growth and praised BoI’s provision of low-interest, long-term loans to facilitate entrepreneurship and sustainable development. He highlighted the importance of partnership and access to funding in fostering enterprise growth and expressed confidence in BoI’s ability to support the state’s economic aspirations.

The establishment of the BoI branch in Akwa Ibom reflects a strategic collaboration between the public and private sectors to advance economic prosperity, job creation, and entrepreneurship development in the state.

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UBA Hits N1tn Market Cap on Strong Financials and Recognition.

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UBA

…Market Cap Hits N1.022tn

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc achieved a significant milestone on Monday as it joined the exclusive league of companies with a market capitalization exceeding N1 trillion. This accomplishment coincided with the surge in its share price to N29.90 per share.

At the close of trading on Monday, the Bank’s market capitalization hit N1,022,562,698,843, making it the 3rd most capitalized financial institution in Nigeria, a remarkable lift from N283.8bn at the beginning of the 2023.

The Bank has 34,199,421,366 shares in issue,

UBA’s N1tn market capitalisation mark comes amidst the bank’s share being named as the highest performing stock in the banking sector in 2023, which underscores the bank’s robust growth trajectory and unwavering market confidence.

Specifically, between the start of January 2023 and today, the price of UBA shares has appreciated by over 250 per cent from N7.60 per share.

Chairman, UBA Group, Tony Elumelu, said that the bank’s remarkable journey in 2023 culminated with its shares being acclaimed as the highest performing stock within the banking sector, as he pointed out that this not only highlights the bank’s strategic prowess but also reflects its commitment to delivering unparalleled value to shareholders and stakeholders alike.

“As UBA celebrates these significant milestones, we will like all our stakeholders to know that we remain steadfast in our mission to drive sustainable growth, foster innovation, and create value for its diverse clientele across Africa,” Elumelu said.

“We are witnessing the impact of the business transformation drive UBA embarked on years ago and executed well. Naturally, the market has taken note of and is duly rewarding our efforts. To our stakeholders, our promise is that we will continue to work harder, deliver on what we know how to do well and create impacts across geographies where we currently operate.” he further said.

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, who expressed delight at the bank’s performance in the past few months, said with its unwavering commitment to excellence and execution, the bank continues to set benchmarks in the banking sector, reinforcing its position as Africa’s global bank of choice.

“Market participants have begun to appreciate the latent capacity in UBA’s business model as the bank unlocks enormous potentials in its pan African and international operations. Its unique competitive advantage lies in people, processes, and technology. With Operations and offices in 24 countries and on 4 continents, UBA is the only African bank with deposit-taking license in the USA. The Bank’s fundamentals remain strong with impressive financial results that have continued to deliver sustainable value for its shareholders. At current price, UBA trades at price-to-earning (P/E) and price-to-book (P/B) multiples of 2.27 and 0.59 which are a reflection of the market’s expectations of the Bank’s future growth potentials,” Alawuba said

UBA is listed on the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in recognition of the Bank’s strong adherence to international best practices on corporate governance and remains committed to creating value for its over 275,000 esteemed shareholders spread across the globe.

The outgone year, 2023, has been a splendid year for United Bank for Africa, becoming the most profitable bank in Nigeria in 2023, with a Shareholders’ Fund that has grown from 992bn as at Full year 2022 to N1.8trn as of September 2023. UBA was also appointed as the Local Arranger and Local Depository Bank for the $3.3bn FX Liquidity support facility for Nigeria in partnership with Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank), providing solutions to economic solutions in Nigeria characterized by shortage of Fx liquidity.

Likewise, in 2023, UBA won the 2023 FMDQ Gold Awards in three Categories including the Best FX Liquidity Provider; Dealing Institution of the Year and Best Money Market Liquidity Provider. This recognition is a testament to UBA’s impressive capital strength.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five (25) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London, Paris, and Dubai, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

 

 

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Akwa Ibom State Government Signs MOU with Navy Holdings for Ibom Fish City Project

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The Akwa Ibom State government has taken a significant step in realizing its vision to explore the blue economy by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Navy Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of the Nigerian Navy, for the Ibom Fish City Project.

During the ceremony held at the Government House in Uyo, Governor Pastor Umo Eno expressed the importance of the MOU in strengthening the relationship between the two parties and confirming their readiness to collaborate on the project.

Governor Umo Eno recalled the project’s discussions, which had begun during the previous administration when he served as the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources. He acknowledged the steadfastness of the management of Naval Holdings Ltd.

The governor emphasized that the MOU signifies a commitment to a worthwhile partnership that not only provides employment opportunities but also enhances maritime security, aligning with the state’s economic and security goals.

The project, known as the Ibom Fish City, aligns with Akwa Ibom State’s ARISE Agenda, which seeks to explore the blue economy. The project aims to provide both economic benefits and enhance maritime security. The Governor expressed his desire for the project to serve as a model for other coastal states to emulate.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of Navy Holdings Ltd, Rear Admiral Hamza Kaoje, commended the governor for his dedication to the state’s development and expressed confidence that the partnership deal would significantly benefit Akwa Ibom State.

Rear Admiral Ayo Olugbode, Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy, shared details about the project, stating that it is part of the bigger vision of the African Maritime Strategy aimed at addressing the root causes of maritime challenges in the West African coastline.

Upon completion, the Ibom Fish City Project is expected to generate an estimated revenue of N500 million and provide employment opportunities for 2,000 to 5,000 people, depending on the scale. The project will enhance the production of over one million tonnes of fish, with a ready market for the produce.

Akwa Ibom State was chosen as the preferred location due to its abundant riverine and coastal areas, water bodies, and fisheries, all of which will significantly contribute to the state’s economy.

The Deputy Governor, Secretary to the State Government, Attorney General, Commissioners, and other officials attended the event.

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